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The Home Ignition Zone & Home Hardening Workshop, Saturday, May 5 10am-Noon

posted Apr 30, 2018, 11:38 AM by Joe Christy

The best way to keep your home from burning down is to keep it from catching fire in the first place.

As part of National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day we are having a workshop Saturday, May 5 10am-Noon, beginning at 214 Towhee (map). We'll introduce the Home Ignition Zone concept, a complement to the defensible space concept, and feature a neighborhood tour to illustrate methods of home hardening, landscaping, and community preparedness that we all can use to secure our neighborhoods and protect everyone in Bonny Doon.

May 5 - Save the Date! The Home Ignition Zone & Home Hardening Workshop

posted Mar 28, 2018, 5:19 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Mar 28, 2018, 5:39 PM ]

The best way to keep your home from burning down in a wildfire is to keep it from catching fire in the first place. That insight, refined from years of studying wildfire in the Wildland/Urban Interface [WUI] led fire scientist Jack Cohen to develop the concept of the Home Ignition Zone [HIZ] in the 1990’s. Since that time, the HIZ concept has been adopted by the National Fire Protection Association, which developed a program of assessing and mitigating wildfire risk in the HIZ.

We have been trained in this program, and to commemorate National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, May 5, we are planning a workshop that morning. The workshop will introduce the HIZ concept and feature a neighborhood tour to illustrate methods of home hardening, landscaping, and community preparedness that we all can use to secure our neighborhoods and protect everyone in Bonny Doon.

Check back for more details as we work them out.

What Drives the Increase in Wildfire Risk in the Wildland/Urban Interface?

posted Mar 28, 2018, 4:19 PM by Joe Christy

Recently the National Academy of Science published the largest nationwide study ever of wildfire in the WUI, right down to the county level. The authors found the growth of the WUI itself, far more than climate change and weather events, accounts for over 95% of the increase in wildfire risk, whether that growth is measured in number of homes, number of people, or area of the WUI. Obviously, the number of homes in the WUI is strongly correlated with the number of people. Surprisingly, the growth in the area of the WUI is almost entirely due to more homes being built in forests and other areas dominated by natural vegetation. Approximately one in three houses and one tenth of the land area of US are now in the WUI.

Two factors are increasing the risk. With more human activity there are more wildfire ignitions, which account for more than 95% of the ignitions. With more homes and people in the WUI, wildland fires are much harder to fight, since protecting lives and property becomes a higher priority than containing and control the wildland fires themselves.


3x your impact!

posted Mar 12, 2018, 11:59 AM by Joe Christy

Amazon is tripling the donation rate on your first smile.amazon.com purchase - through March 31! Go to smile.amazon.com/ch/32-0315464 and Amazon donates 1.5% to Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council Inc.

Free Chipping Program Registration Open

posted Feb 25, 2018, 3:44 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Feb 25, 2018, 4:04 PM ]

Registration for our FREE (as in beer) Spring Chipping Program is now open!

o Prepare for the Summer Wildfire Season
o Help Firefighters Protect Your Home
o Keep Your Property Fully Insurable
o Clear a Safe Space Around Your Home 
o Make Sure Firefighters - and You - Can Get In and Out Safely Along Your Road

…by taking part in the BDFSC's Spring Program of
FREE CHIPPING
What Is It? We are hiring bonded professionals to chip freshly cut brush and tree 
limbs only (it's actually better to burn the older stuff yourself).

When is it? Mid-March through mid-April.


What else do I need to know? If you are clearing already, stack 
the piles of woody brush and tree limbs under 6" in diameter next to a maintained road
with the cut ends facing the road.  For more information, check out our Chipping Do's and Don'ts.

To take part, you must register online by March 15. Chipping will take place in early April.

Backyard Burn Workshop Handout Posted

posted Feb 25, 2018, 3:35 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Feb 25, 2018, 3:47 PM ]

We've posted the information from our January Backyard Burn Workshop, with photos. Check it out!
Dooners burning for knowledge

Annual Meeting December 13

posted Dec 1, 2017, 2:12 PM by Joe Christy

Our December annual meeting will feature guest speaker Jake Hess, CAL FIRE Deputy Chief Operations, San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit. Deputy Chief Hess and Battalion Chief Aldo Gonzalez were the Incident Commanders for the October 16-27 Bear Fire outside Boulder Creek.  His presentation will be on Bear Fire Lessons Learned. Chief Hess tells us:
… [H]ere some of the items that will inevitably come up at the talk:
This fire was terrain and fuel driven with little to no wind. This fire had significant potential and we ordered our additional resources accordingly. We entered into unified Command with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s department and issued evacuation orders. This fire had potential need to order a Type I incident command team, however we did not as we were able to handle the fires operationally and utilized a Marin County Type III team for Logistical support. The County EOC was activated and staffed with multiple agencies throughout the entire incident. Access and egress were an issue for responders as well as tight narrow unimproved roads and driveways. The air assets that we ordered played a significant role in the success of this incident due to inaccessible terrain. There were multiple injuries on this fire as well as an injury to a fire fighter classified as “significant”. Shelters were opened and identified for civilians in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.
Please join us Wednesday evening, December 13, 7-8:30pm at the Bonny Doon Elementary School Multipurpose Room.

January Backyard Burn Workshop

posted Dec 1, 2017, 2:08 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Dec 18, 2017, 10:03 AM ]

Since the CAL FIRE complete Burn Ban in Santa Cruz County was lifted on November 20, and the Monterey Bay Air Resource District’s Backyard Burn Period begins December 1, we will have a Backyard Burn Workshop, Saturday, January 13, 10am-Noon at 150 McGivern Way, Bonny Doon. We will discuss the newest MBARD Backyard Burn permits & regulations (which, for our area, are now more relaxed than in the past), Safety, and Smoke Control. Most importantly, we will demonstrate current best practices for pile burning, learned from our experiences burning over 300 piles in fuel breaks in the 6 years since our first Workshop.

Thanks to Everyone Who Supported our 2107 Chipping Program

posted Dec 1, 2017, 2:04 PM by Joe Christy

In the past month, we finished our 2017 Chipping Program, later than we had planned, but in slightly less contractor time than we had anticipated. While we were pleased by being able to work on about 75 properties and to learn a lot about how better to run a chipping program, the greatest reward was the financial support from more than a dozen neighbors who contributed since of November appeal, which has left us with seed funds for a day and half toward our 2018 Chipping Program next spring. Please join them this December with a tax-deductible donation to help keep our community safe.

Chipping Program Begins

posted Oct 29, 2017, 6:10 PM by Joe Christy

After several false starts and much tuning of the program parameters, our 2017 chipping program has finally begun as write this. The response has been enthusiastic beyond our most optimistic expectations - nearly 75 households have signed up and been qualified. We’ve started in Pineridge and our plan, in the broadest strokes, is to proceed north up Empire Grade, visiting adjacent neighborhoods on the way, then return south and then southwest down Pine Flat. Despite equipment failures, we have spent nearly 4 full days chipping with another 4 days to come. Please note that applications for this year are emphatically closed, and if you’ve been accepted but haven’t yet been visited please resist the temptation to add to your pile(s). We estimate that our funding will allow us to complete all chipping, barely, and you should recall that the agreement that you signed does not guarantee that we will chip your pile(s) if we do run out of funding before we can finish.
As I was checking piles before we began, two sobering facts were driven home.

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